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Despite of the fact that Microsoft’s next-generation graphics application programming interface (API) will be able to take advantage of unified shader processors, at least Nvidia Corp.’s first DirectX 10-capable chip will utilize more traditional dedicated pixel and vertex processors, according to some rumours.

Nvidia’s code-named G80 graphics processing unit (GPU) will incorporate 48 pixel shader processors and an unknown number of vertex shader processors, some unofficial sources said. The chip is still expected to support feature-set of DirectX 10 along with Shader Model 4.0, even though it will not take advantage of the unified shader processors that can compute both pixel and vertex shaders.

Microsoft Corp. pushes unified shader language for pixel and vertex shaders in its Xbox 360 game console ad well as graphics API of Windows Longhorn – Windows Graphics Foundation 2.0, which is sometimes referred as the DirectX 10. As a result of that, graphics hardware designers should deliver their chips with unified shader engines at some point in future in order to more efficiently support the new API. However, previously Nvidia Corp. expressed opinion that it would be necessary to release an architecture with unified shader processors “when it makes sense”.

“We will do a unified architecture in hardware when it makes sense. When it’s possible to make the hardware work faster unified, then of course we will. It will be easier to build in the future, but for the meantime, there’s plenty of mileage left in this architecture,” David Kirk, who is Nvidia’s chief architect, said in an interview with Bit-tech.net web-site.

ATI Technologies has already developed a unified shader architecture used in the Xenos graphics processor of the Xbox 360 game console. Nvidia believes that it is much harder to design a processor with unified pixel and vertex shader processors, as it is not a trivial task to create appropriate load balancing logic that would arbiter the unified arithmetic logic units.

The new DirectX 10 API is expected to be released later this year along with Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.

Nvidia did not respond to enquiry seeking for comment. Typically, the company does not comment on unreleased products.

Discussion

Comments currently: 34
Discussion started: 02/20/06 11:16:22 AM
Latest comment: 05/04/07 02:11:47 PM

[1-5]

1. 
Probably after the G71 shows up and isn't quite what we'd hoped they may have to put a twist to the screws and get the G80 out fast. That may have caused some design compromises in making it at least full DX10 capable but not unified entirely in design.

Despite their need to get back on top fast I hope this hybrid design doesn't go the way the last one went.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/20/06 05:51:02 PM]
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2. 
This is madness. Buy a new $1000 graphics card just to run Vista. In other words M$ want people to buy the XBox for games. I hope the user feedback goes all the way to their stock prices

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/21/06 12:13:17 AM]
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3. 
Microsoft wouldn't want to release DirectX 10 on the PC market until they have at least had enough sales of Xbox 360's using ATI's GPU that does support Dx10.

Until Dx10 is released, and Microsoft have announced that it will only be available in Windows Vista, the Xbox 360 will appear to have the lead in the graphic department over PC's. This is most likely a marketing strategy to maximise Xbox 360 sales, as why would they release Dx10 on Windows XP if it meant competing with a new product for consumer $$.

Neither ATI or nVidia will release a DirectX 10 video card until Vista is released and also they want to sell their existing DirectX 9 cards for $1000 while they still can, I'm holding off until an affordable DirectX 10 card comes out... as you'd be stupid to upgrade now with a massive change of OS and hardware about to happen associated to Windows Vista (only Microsoft OS to support DirectX 10)
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/16/06 09:24:28 PM]
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4. 
this is very impresive i dont now como es que es esto y asta donde llegara carambolas las bolas del todo el mudo y qye god bendiga el bolsillo de todos para poder tener este tipo de targetas grphicas...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/09/06 09:09:30 PM]
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5. 
wear kan i dawnloud tis directx 10?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/22/06 07:01:56 PM]
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